Best Billiards Movies

In reality pool halls never look as cool as they do in the best billiards movies.

Best Billiards Movies
Grunge Style 8 Ball by David G. Paul

Don't blink or you might miss that trick shot. While Tom Cruise knows how to hustle pool in the movie, The Color Of Money, it’s not often that you fall in love in a pool hall, except for when it comes to billiards movies. There never seems to be a lack of beautiful women in the celluloid world of pool halls. Perhaps cracking balls has its appeal to the fairer sex, especially when they are good with a cue. The women in these billiards films give the guy shooters a real run for the money.

In 9 Ball, a young woman named Gail played by Jennifer Barretta, aspires to become a 9-ball professional and champion but her hustling uncle has other plans for her skills. Gail loved pool ever since she was a young girl, and she was a natural born player; she had the gift. After her father was murdered when she was only twelve, she was left in the care of her uncle Joey who saw Gail's great pool playing skills as a way for him to become rich. Yet through Gail's determination and persistence, she works on breaking out of the hustle scene and becoming a professional billiards player.


In Turn The River, a pool shark takes the ultimate gamble when she kidnaps her own son and flees her ex-husband. Starring Famke Janssen as Kailey Sullivan, a woman who is rough around the edges and is schooled in hard knocks. Divorced from her son's father and without visitation rights, she and her son write letters to each other and meet surreptitiously. Kailey learns that her son, Gulley, is receiving abuse from his father and is being bullied in school. She decides that the best thing for her and her child would be to leave the country and start a new life in Canada. To do this, she must win billiards tournaments to afford passports and the traveling expenses.

In Shooting Gallery, a street-wise man (Freddie Prinze Jr.)gets mixed up in a scheme involving a pool shark (Ving Rhames) and a crooked lawman. Jericho Hudson is a street smart kid with a gift for shooting pool but finds himself in the middle of a dangerous hustle when he's played as a pawn in a contest... of wits and Nine Ball between two legendary pool hustlers, "Cue Ball" Carl Bridges and Tenderloin Tony, and a Vice cop, Timothy Mortensen. With some help from his grifting girlfriend Jezebel (Roselyn Sanchez), Hudson sets a plan into motion that will draw Cue Ball Carl and crooked cop Timothy Mortensen into a dangerous confrontation, but if the plan doesn't go just as planned Hudson might not live long enough to call his next shot.

Jack, Thomas, and Wayne, make up The Stickmen, Simone Kessell is the token pool hall girl in this sexist romp through billiards movies. They like nothing more than having a beer in one hand, pool cue in the other, money on the table and their friends surrounding them at Dave's bar. Unfortunately, the bar is going bankrupt and Dave is desperate to get out of debt. Dave convinces the Stickmen to play in an underground, high stakes pool tournament. A tournament that boasts a bizarre collection of bikers, waitresses, bankers, and priests who all stand in the way of winning the big money. Behind it all is a sinister crime lord pulling all the strings. Everything's riding on the Stickmen... can they play smart enough to win the tournament and save Dave's bar? On any given night a pool table will see casualties, victors, victims, and legends.

Kiss Shot stars Whoopi Goldberg as Sarah Collins, a witty, warm-hearted, single parent who is trying to keep a roof over the head, and the braces on the mouth, of her 13-year-old daughter. When she loses her job at Dunsley Electronics, she must figure out how to raise $3000 in four months or the bank will take her house and put her on the street. Unable to raise the money through personal connections, she decides to raise the money through pool. In making this decision, Sarah Collins joins a long list of female protagonists in billiards movies who hustle for noble intentions, unlike their male counterparts, who hustle largely out of greed and ego.

Johnny Cash rocks in The Baron and the Kid. follows the basic sentimental father-son drama as The Gambler in that it casts Johnny Cash as an ex-pool hustler determined to rectify the wrongs of his violent, alcoholic past life by establishing a relationship with his son, Billy Joe “The Cajun Kid” Stanley, who his ex-wife Dee Dee Stanley, Tracy Pollan, had kept a secret for 18 years. Apparently, when there is “nothing to lose, everything to win,” the only way to forge a father-son bond and remedy almost two decades of absence is to bond over billiards on the road. The movie opens with an incredible series of pool shots performed by Cash and has demonstrations of pool prowess throughout.

The Baltimore Bullet is a 1980 film based on the adventures of two pool hustlers in the United States. Along with Ronee Blakley as California Red, Nick Casey, whose nickname is the "Baltimore Bullet," is a legendary pool player whose best days are behind him. He decides to teach everything he knows to a young up-and-comer, Billie Joe Robbins, all leading up to a big winner-take-all match between the two of them. Eventually, however, circumstances force the student and the master to face each other in a final showdown. This breezy drama was later overshadowed by the similarly themed The Color of Money.

In The Color Of Money, pool hustler Fast Eddie Felson finds the young, promising pool player Vincent in a local bar and he sees in him a younger version of himself. To try and make it as in the old days, Eddie offers to teach Vincent how to be a hustler. After some hesitations Vincent accepts and Eddie takes him and Vincent's girlfriend Carmen, played by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, on a tour through the country to work the pool halls. However, Vincent's tendency to show off his talent warns off other players and loses him money, which soon leads to a confrontation with Eddie.

In Poolhall Junkies, Johnny is obsessed by the world of pool and could be one of the best. But his mentor and "trainer" Joe, a shady hustler who decides how and who Johnny plays, is holding him back from his dream. When the day finally comes, Johnny breaks from Joe, which leads to only one thing -- violence. Johnny finally commits to a "real" job in the construction business, but is soon miserable there. He finds himself spending most of his time with his younger brother Danny who seems to be following in his footsteps. Due to Joe's mistakes, Johnny must go back to his old ways when his little brother gets involved with his enemy, the very man who held him back from greatness.

In The Hustler, Paul Newman is electrifying as "Fast" Eddie Felson, an arrogant, amoral hustler who haunts backstreet pool rooms fleecing anyone who'll pick up a cue. Determined to be acclaimed as the best, Eddie seeks out the legendary Minnesota Fats, who's backed by Bert Gordon, a predatory gambler. With the emotional support of Piper Laurie, Paul Newman's Eddie can beat the champ, but virtually defeats himself with his low self-esteem. The love of a lonely woman could turn Eddie's life around, but he won't rest until he beats Minnesota Fats, no matter what price he must pay.

celebritiesmoviereviewpop culture
Frank   White
Frank White
Read next: Best Customizable Games
Frank White

New Yorker in his forties. His counsel is sought by many, offered to few. Traveled the world in search of answers, but found more questions.

See all posts by Frank White